MANIFESTO

Time for Change – The Same Won’t Do
Vote Michael Sheehan No. 1

Table of Contents

1. Community & County

I have many years of experience as a community leader.

I have seen first-hand listened to problems and issues within communities. In response this I set up and continue to lead the food back and back to school schemes. It’s time for Rural Wexford to fight back and demand its fair share of resources, ensuring society and infrastruture are fit for more than just the needs of Dublin.

1.1  Village and Community Economic Hubs

Our towns and village are hollowing out, with poor access to education, jobs and modern infrastructure. Long distance commuting, or worse migration and emigration are destroying communities. I intend to promote a policy of rural employment hubs, where professionals can work remotely from hubs within rural communities. We need active integrated government policies that promote remaining and settling in rural villages with investment in more than 20 village centres, shared working spaces and very high capacity broadband. Suitable villages would be Adamstown, Ballycanew, Ballycullane, Ballymurn, Blackwater, Bree, Bridgetown, Bunclody, Camolin, Campile, Carrick on Bannow, Castlebridge/Crossabeg, Clonroche, Courtown/Riverchapel, Duncannon, Ferns, Fethard, Kilann/Rathnure, Kilmore/Kilmore Quay, Kilmuckridge, Oilgate, Oulart/The Ballagh, Piercestown/Murrintown, Rosslare/Rosslare Harbour/Kilrane, Taghmon, Wellingtonbridge

1.2  Fair System of Pensions

Seniors have contributed all their lives to our community and a successful Ireland.
Fair pensions are a right they have earned, not a handout. The pension system  discriminates against those who have worked all their lives.
The gap between retirement and access to the state pension needs to be resolved by paying a State Transition Pension to people to ensure that those aged 65 and over do not have to sign on the dole when they retire. We need to hold the increase in state pension age at 67 until a comprehensive review is completed.

Employment contracts that do not align retirement age with state pension age should be outlawed.

Pensions and an aging nation are a huge issue here. Our new government should inform those affected with clear and accessible information being made available to all, with informed debate and fair solutions implemented by a competent government.

I stand for fairness and decency in the pension system and this has always been a top issue for him. I was the first to spot the discriminatory anomalies in the changes introduced by the Fine Gael-Labour Government in 2012 – and worked with colleagues in Fianna Fáil to force the government into u-turn.

I will continue to seek supports for older people in Wexford so that they can live decent, independent and healthy lives.

1.3  Evolve Support for Farm Families

The CAP and farm funding through this and other schemes should evolve to ensure that farmers remain the backbone of rural areas and are the custodians of our land and environment.

1.4  Support for Households to Eliminate Smoky Fuels

We need to evolve from smoky fuels with support, so those that can least afford the solutions to clean air and climate change are not the ones burdened with the cost. Enniscorthy and New Ross regularly exceed EU limits (occasionally over 50 times the limit) and score the maximum 10 on the World Health Organisation Air Quality Index.

I want to see greater funding to refit older houses, replacing open fires with stoves, increasing insulation, replacing windows and door, and connecting to natural gas where possible.

1.5  Support for Families

Family Resource centres in all urban areas, modelled on the highly successful South End Family Resource Centre in Wexford town. Build better playgrounds, including teen focussed facilities such as skate parks.

Childcare costs are far too high. We require

  • Increased subsidy levels under the Affordable Childcare Scheme
  • Tax credits for children under 3 who are cared for by registered childminders
  • Overhaul of the childminders and Early Years professional registration system. Streamline accreditation and audit system for creches and early years
  • Expand the ECCE scheme by two weeks to 40 weeks per year
  • Increase number of childcare places
  • Legislation to support au pairs.
  • Extended paid parental leave – maternity leave from 36 to 40 weeks and paternity leave from 2 to 4 weeks, allowing parents to share this

1.6  Fianna Fáil Policies

2 Healthy Living

There is a lack of integrated thinking and even worse policy implementation in our health service. Living in a
healthy society is more than just having decent hospital services. We need to have an integrated approach, encouraging healthy lifestyles from infanthood, leading to physical and mental health all through life, and consequently a lower cost and higher quality healthcare system under less pressure. The decisions and policy of government today impact lives for generations to come.

However the sins of the past are visiting us now, we need better healthcare services at all levels from primary through to advanced hospital care, and this requires action now in the Southeast.

Mental health problems cost the Irish economy over € 8.2 billion annually, according to a new OECD report, but it is the human cost that is most significant.

Ireland has one of the highest rates of mental health illness in Europe, ranking joint third out of the 36 countries surveyed in the annual Health at a Glance report.

Some 18.5 per cent of the Irish population was recorded as having a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, or alcohol or drug use, in 2016.

Rates of depression were also well above the European average for both men and women in Ireland. However, the suicide rate here was below average.

Some 28 per cent of Irish children aged between 11 and 15 years reported being bullied in school, while 14 per cent were cyberbullied. These figures were close to the EU average.

We have a failure of mental health resources here in Wexford. People require mental help support more than just during office hours. Our Gardaí have to step in, without adequate training or resources. We need appropriate community step down services – overcrowded centralised acute units are not the solution.

A 9am to 5pm service is not a solution for a 24-hour problem. The mental health unit in Waterford University Hospital is not up to the task of meeting the needs of the whole southeast region.

2.1  Mental health

We have a failure of mental health resources here in Wexford. People require mental help support more than just during office hours. Our Gardaí have to step in, without adequate training or resources. We need appropriate community step down services – overcrowded centralised acute units are not the solution. A 9 to 5 service is not a solution for a 24h problem. The mental health unit in Waterford University Hospital is not up to the task of meeting the needs of the whole southeast region. “Dolly Parton mental health system – nine to five”. Revolving door of Waterford University Hospital Mental Health Unit.

2.2  General Practitioners

Our GP system is collapsing, we have a shortage of young doctors joining the profession. Primary care centres are neglected and reducing their opening times.

The topic that is continually on many GPs’ minds is of FEMPI reversal. FEMPI (Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) was the series of wide-ranging cuts that were introduced by Irish governments from 2009-’13 in order to stabilise public finances in the aftermath of the banking crisis.

The cuts sustained by general practitioners in Ireland were among the highest sustained by any group of workers in the State – more than 35pc before tax, and before the cost of running a business was taken into account. There is increasing awareness of the impending tsunami of GP retirements in the next few years.

GPs continue to work under an amended contract, with the core contract being almost 50years old. There are a series of new amendments proposed for this for the management of long-term conditions. The key question at present is how many GP Practices will be able to take this additional work on board, given how overstretched the system already is.

It can be hard or impossible to get onto a GP list in some areas, and appointments can take 2 weeks or more. We need a complete rethink of our GP and Primary Care system, because when well-functioning it takes pressure off our hospitals, keeps people at home with their families. A stitch in time saves nine!

We can reduce the demand for these by promoting supporting healthier living practices. We need programmes the support people to maintain a healthy lifestyle through education, funding of sports and community action plans.

I support most of the actions championed by Wexford Bicycle User Group to encourage active travel and regular exercise in a safe environment.

2.3  Support to Eliminate Smoking

Smoking is one of the greatest causes of ill health and poor quality of life in old age. Smoking and its consequent ill health place a massive and expensive burden on our health services in addition to the human cost.

Smoking continues to cause a considerable impact on hospital services costing €172 million, a new HSE study is warning.
In Ireland, 20% of adults continue to smoke. Many current and ex-smokers live with ill-health and disability as a result of smoking, and the study aimed to quantify the extent of smoking- related hospitalisations in Irish publicly funded hospitals.

The study, Counting the Toll of Smoking-Attributable Hospitalisations, on behalf of the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, found that in 2016, there were 21,486 day case admissions, 33,615 inpatient hospital admissions consuming 309,117 bed days.

All were attributable to smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, with an estimated cost of €172 million in publicly funded hospitals. This represents 2% of day case admissions, 5% of inpatient admissions, and 8% of inpatient bed days for that year.

Mícheal Martin and Fianna Fáil have led the way internationally in substantially reducing smoking. I will support programmes focussed on smokers in helping them in the very difficult task of quitting permanently. I will support heavier penalties for those who illegally facilitate underage smoking and active programmes aimed at preventing take up of smoking in the first place. Vaping has its place among smokers trying to quit but should have no place in the lives of those who have never smoked. Stricter regulation and enforcement are essential.

2.4  Healthy Communities & Primary Care

The men and women of our Fire Service are highly trained and an amazing resource available locally. The service needs to evolve and grow its remit, including a fulltime core of multi skilled first responders based in the larger urban fire stations nationwide. This would supplement the National Ambulance Service and integrate with Gardaí and HSE in providing support locally, with a particular emphasis on prevention.

There is a lack of integrated thinking and even worse policy implementation in our health service. Living in a healthy society is more than just having decent hospital services.

We need to have a comprehensive approach, encouraging healthy lifestyles from infant-hood, leading to physical and mental health all through life, and consequently a lower cost and higher quality healthcare system under less pressure. The decisions and policy of government today impact lives for generations to come.

However the sins of the past are visiting us now, we need better healthcare services at all levels from primary through to advanced hospital care, and this requires action now not only in Wexford but in the entire region of the Southeast.

What the county and region need are healthy communities. Primary care and hospitals are key parts of the health service.

2.5  Our Hospitals – Cardiac Care

Overcrowding at Waterford University Hospital and Wexford General Hospitals, poor management by HSE. Local impact of national failed policies. Upgrade Waterford UH to full 24-hour regional care centre as per other regions – CAT lab etc.
“Dolly Parton health system – nine to five”. For both Coronary Care and Mental Health we don’t have a proper 24 hour service in the SouthEast – heart problems and mental health crises don’t occur just during office hours. “We have a Dolly Parton health system – nine to five”.

2.6  Fianna Fáil Policy

3 Agriculture and Environment

We live in an era of climate crisis and we need to reduce substantially and eventually eliminate greenhouse  gas emissions in the lifetime of the youngest in our community. For too long the convenient narrative in an urban dominated media agenda is to frame the farmer as the villain leading to scapegoating and divisiveness. For the sake of our next generation we need to step together. Farmers are the solution and not the problem. As agriculture and transport are the largest causes of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland, change in both these sectors is essential. I want Ireland to involve farmers in solving our problems, invest in research and development, invest in training that will facilitate changes in livestock breeding, animal husbandry  and  other  farm practices. This needs to be done while protecting farm  families, their lifestyle and security of income. Wexford is known as the Model County because of its reputation for innovative farming practices. It’s time to stand up to the name.

3.1  Local impact of climate change

We all need to make changes,  and we  will all suffer the consequence of global heating.

3.2  Enhance Rural Life

Changes to the way we live that enhance rural life, not destroy it

  • better transport – alternative to cars. Establish a network of rural greenways, allowing recreational and commuting cycling, running and walking.

3.3  Electric Cars

Electric cars are an ideal solution for rural dwellers, with proportionally higher  environmental  benefit  than  city dwellers converting to  electric. Rural dwellers were early adaptors from petrol to diesel and with the right incentive and infrastructure can be early  adaptors to  electric cars. However, they are expensive, so we need more support through grants and scrappage schemes to change to electric cars, particularly for rural dwellers with off street parking (and therefore easy to charge) and travelling greater distances each day than city dwellers.

3.4  Support Irish Agriculture to Evolve

Agriculture is the largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland. Farmers are not the enemy of the environment, despite what some  say in the media. Farmers are the custodians of the  environment  and  require support to evolve to a more sustainable and less carbon intensive farming model in Ireland. Re-task Teagasc to focus on evolving agriculture to a lower carbon model, in partnership with farm families. Wexford is known as the Model County for historically advanced approach to agricultural practice. We can harness this to make Co. Wexford farming a model for sustainable futures with healthy incomes for farm families and attractive to young people to work on the land.

3.5  Support for small scale energy

Farmers can contribute to their incomes and to enhancing Ireland’s renewable energy supply network through Biogas anaerobic digestors, solar panels on sheds and unviable land. To achieve fair income for small scale energy producers we need to improve REFIT (renewable energy feed in tariff) to the levels in operation in Denmark and other leading nations in the area of renewable energy.

3.6  Fianna Fáil Policy

4 Education and Learning

As a professional educator, I understand of how good education transforms lives. As Chairman of Wexford County Council and a Councillor for 20 years, I have listened to adults, to young people and their parents and this has given me a deep understanding of not only the problems with education in Co. Wexford but of the solutions required to meet our needs.

4.1  University in Co. Wexford

Substantial University Campus in Co. Wexford, linking to a high- quality university. Our best and brightest are leaving the county and staying away when qualified. A university brings vibrancy and life to an area, promoting culture education and clusters of high value employers. Without a university nearby it is difficult to attract high added value business, high potential start-ups and foreign direct investment. Universities do not have to be in cities, a great example in Ireland is NUI Maynooth. Some of the greatest universities in the world are outside national and regional capitals in relatively small centres of population such as Yale in New Haven USA, Harvard in Cambridge Massachusetts USA, INSEAD in Fontainebleau France, IMD in Lausanne Switzerland. We need to match the needs of young people and their families, as well as business and business development agencies such as IDA and Enterprise Ireland to create an education and research environment that encourages investment.

Our young people are doomed to a life of endless bus journeys to Dublin and back or the expense of Dublin accommodation. We need to give them a choice of higher-level education here in Wexford.

In Ireland 33% of the adult population have a 3rd level qualification. In Co. Wexford it is 24.5% and in the southwest of the county it is 22%. This is clearly an issue of access.

Of the 60 largest towns and cities in Ireland Gorey is the longest journey by public transport from the nearest third level (main) campus and Wexford is the second longest (after Cavan town) by car from the nearest main campus.

My Education Goals:

  • A meaningful campus in Co. Wexford to be part of programme for Government
  • Opening of a substantial campus in Co. Wexford by 2025

4.2  Fair Access to Secondary Schools

Fair access to Secondary Education through planning school extensions and new schools that meet the demographics needs of our county. Our secondary students, particularly boys, are being bussed 40km twice a day – not acceptable.

My Education Goals:

  • Ensure that planning and construction of secondary schools meet current and forecasted demographics in each area of Co. Wexford are part of programme for
  • By end 2023, no Wexford secondary school student should be required to travel more than 15km to

4.3  Equality in Primary Education

Equality for children and  fulfilment of  children’s potential in Primary School, through the development of meal programmes and book schemes,  particularly  in disadvantaged areas.

My Education Goals:

  • Development and implantation of a meal programme in all primary schools, facilitating well-nourished children that have the energy and health to learn and play and not worry about the hollow in their stomach
  • Development of affordable and free book schemes for primary schools.
  • Implement and enforce a policy of maximum weight for school children’s bags, protecting their health

4.4  Blended Learning

Academic third level education is not the choice of all school leavers, nor is it the only route to fulfilling careers. The German model is highly successful, facilitating rewarding jobs and powering their global manufacturing excellence. This is achieved through blended learning and modern apprenticeship programmes

My Education Goals:

  • Blended learning to become part of the programme for government, localised in each county to meet the current and future needs of young men and women as well as of employers.
  • Improvement in career guidance resources, promoting a fair path to good

4.5 Returning to Education for Adults

  • Education for All  is  a  key Fianna Fail In a rapidly changing world, education no longer ends when we leave school or college. Returning to education, be it part time or fulltime is both personally rewarding and can facilitate career growth or complete change. It is fundamental to a modern socially healthy society. Advanced adult education should not just be for those living in our cities

My Education Goals:

  • Substantial resources and support for those returning to education. Create a culture in Ireland where it is normal to go back to school or college during a working career.
  • Increase access to part time adult education in Co. Wexford through third level outreach

4.6  Fianna Fáil Policy

5 Jobs and Innovation

Our  economy  and  jobs  market  is one of the most centralised in Europe, a consequence of years of poor government  policy  with  respect  to the regions. Here in the SouthEast we have some of the worst records around jobs, poverty, education and migration to the capital city. Within the SouthEast, Wexford is not getting its fair slice of the cake and within Co. Wexford, with 4 TDs in the North of the county, the South of the county is suffering  substantial neglect. We need a strong TD in the South of the county who will work with other rural TDs in the 33rd Dáil to develop and implement national policies, that reverses the trend of meaningful jobs being only in Dublin and the cities.

5.1  Meaningful Jobs

For society in largely a rural constituency such as Wexford (and particularly South Wexford) to thrive, there must be Meaningful Jobs that meet the needs of people who wish to grow and rear their families. This will avoid the hollowing out of our county, where the young educated workforce chose or have to work outside Co. Wexford, either moving away or enduring the purgatory of long commutes.

Our young people are doomed to a life of endless bus/train/car journeys to Dublin and back or the expense of Dublin accommodation. We need to give them a choice of real jobs here in Wexford.

5.2  Support Entrepreneurs and FDI

Despite what many politicians seeking your vote will say, TDs cannot  create  jobs. However, through well though out and joined up policies, TDs acting together can create an environment where entrepreneurs thrive. We need:

  • Support for  local enterprise  centres, creating a cradle for entrepreneurs and start-up companies
  • Strengthen and increase funding to Local Enterprise Office and WLD-Leader, promoting support for entrepreneurs
  • Advance factories, providing turnkey premises for national and multinational companies to establish in Co. Wexford rapidly.
  • Actively promoting Wexford industry abroad
  • IDA are the best in the world – in Wexford our leaders have let them down. We need to be IDA ready – education, infrastructure.

5.3 Housing for the Job Market

Our housing crises is an  inhibitor  to jobs. We require access to high quality reasonably price housing both to rent and to buy to make our county and its towns and villages attractive to employers.

5.4  Education and Skills for Jobs

Our education policies naturally should meet the needs of young people and adults, and they also need to meet the requirements of employers by creating a labour and skills pool that attract the best companies to set up in Wexford.

5.5  Research and Development Support  for Industry and Agriculture

Support for research and development for both Industry and Agriculture. The policy of our universities with respect to IP (Intellectual Property) disincentives Irish companies to engage our universities to conduct research for industry, with much of this taking place abroad.

5.6  Fianna Fáil Policy

6 Infrastructure and Development

6.1  Change Rosslare Europort and Invest

Rosslare Europort has seriously fallen behind. The 2013 National Ports Policy designated five ports of national importance. Of the four ports handling unitised freight, Rosslare has had the lowest growth since 2013, substantially reducing its market share. Irish Rail’s stewardship of the port has been anaemic, lack lustre and weak on investment. The port is only an add on to a passenger railway. All the other national ports have dynamic and effective boards of directors whose members have expertise in shipping and trade. Nobody on the Irish Rail board has expertise in these areas. For Rosslare Europort to thrive and serve the needs of Ireland, the South East and Wexford I propose:

  • Remove control and management from Irish Rail by creating an independent port company owned by the state who will operate and own the port (or on a very long-term lease from Irish Rail, if legislation doesn’t allow its transfer to another company). The new port company should be modelled on the successful companies operating Dublin, Cork, Shannon-Foynes and Waterford and should have the power to raise finance, both commercially and through EU Infrastructure funds
  • The new board should be directed to create an ambitious and substantial capital development plan ensuring that the port can handle modern Ferries, RoRo vessels and ConRo vessels in all weathers
  • Review the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). In light of Brexit, I and Fianna Fáil will push for an extraordinary review of the Trans-European Transport Network to increase Ireland’s access to European funds for important infrastructural projects. I will prioritise  the extension  of  the  TEN-T  Core  network  to  include Rosslare by upgrading the N25 and the N11/M11 to “Core” from “Comprehensive”. This would open access to finance and development funding and allow upgrading of the port.
  • Dept of Transport as a priority should complete the M11 motorway to Wexford and extending a motorway to the port.

6.2  Rural Transport, Rural and Regional Roads

  • Rural roads Better Regional and Local Roads
  • Improve rural transport for people of all
  • Strengthen and grow LocalLink
  • Create services to suit rural dwellers access to evening education, social, sporting, cultural events and

6.3  Cycling & Pedestrian friendly towns, villages and rural roads

  • Pedestrian friendly town centres that encourage visitors of all ages to shop and linger
  • I support most of the Wexford Bicycle User Group aims for cycling in Wexford. In particular we need a dedicated National Cycling Office in the Department of Transport, Tourism and

6.4  Rural Broadband

  • Accelerate the current plan. Great plan, but too late by the time it’s complete. Essential for rural economic hubs

6.5  Natural Gas in New Ross

  • Essential for industry and reduction in pollution and greenhouse gas
  • Natural Gas is a more environmentally friendly than oil or solid fuel.
  • More importantly the Natural Gas network can gradually evolve take Biogas, an Irish generated form of renewable energy with extremely low carbon
  • By expanding the gas network, we can then connect more small-scale biogas generators (or digestors) to the grid. These are often located on farms using a mix of agricultural and food waste as well as specifically grown energy
  • While electric is the future for cars and small vans, it is not the same for trucks and To viable alternative to polluting diesel power in trucks and buses is Compressed Natural  Gas  (CNG)  and  Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), with 38% less greenhouse gas emissions and zero particulate emissions compared with Diesel. As the biogas network grows, large vehicles can then use carbon neutral BioCNG and BioLNG.
  • The current rules for connection of the network to provincial towns do not suit the needs of climate change. The connection to Wexford town was delayed by nine years and under current rules New Ross, Enniscorthy and Gorey cannot be connected to the grid. We need a completely new vision for the gas network, similar to the vision that brought electricity to the nation in the mid-20th century, at a time when Ireland had very few

6.6  Railway Improvements

  • The service on the Wexford-Dublin railway line is reliable and punctual. It also represents good value with keenly priced tickets when booked in advance.
  • However, there are only four Dublin bound and five South bound trains a day (except Gorey with an additional morning train). This is not enough to meet the needs of the county. It is well established in public transport that frequency and reliability will move more people from private cars to rail and bus. By encouraging a move to rail, it will ease the pressure on the northern end of the M11 a source of much delay for Wexford cars, buses and trucks heading to
  • The newer Intercity railcars (Class 22000 DMU) are comfortable, quiet, fast, with charging points for laptops  and  phones  and good Wi-Fi.  The same cannot be said for the Commuter railcars (Class 29000 DMU) which are noisy, uncomfortable, travel roughly on the rails and are suitable only for short journeys.

My Goals for Rail Investment

  • More trainset to increase frequency to hourly at peak times and every two hours non-peak, with an associated marketing campaign.
  • Convert the Rosslare Dublin line to all intercity railcars south of Wicklow, eliminating commuter railcars for long journeys
  • Invest in hybrid or dual power railcars that draw power from overhead lines when on the Dart network (N of Greystones) and run on diesel, LNG or hydrogen
  • In the long term, invest in growing capacity on the Dublin – Rosslare line by doubling the permanent way from Bray to Wexford

6.7  Fianna Fáil Policy

7 Housing and Affordability

A disjointed housing market and lack of fair access to housing is one of the hallmarks of our time. Expecting the private sector to solve the problems of society and poor government decision making is utterly unrealistic. The private sector has a role to play, but no sensible business person will develop houses where the price and hence the profit margin is low, if left to their own devices they will quite naturally build larger more expensive houses, not the kind required by homeless families. Housing policy should be publicly driven, solely in the interests of our community.

Some of the most successful leap forwards in housing took place at time when our country was poor and isolated. We still have the legacy of well-built public housing constructed in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s.

We need to take the best features of 20th century public housing policy and build houses for 21st century families, lifestyle and climate change.

Fianna Fáil has a very proud track record since 1932 as a leader in the building of local authority housing. I intend that we increase substantially our local authority housing stock in a way that local authorities are not competing with young couples to buy houses and thus driving up the price.

7.1  New Housing Board

Develop a stand-alone, expertly governed, Co. Wexford Housing board (and the same in other counties) with a focus on accessible housing for rental, ownership and blended models. This will use existing successful models in Ireland and abroad, adapted for Co. Wexford and building on the knowledge of people in the industry and those with a track record of success in housing the homeless and those in inadequate housing.

7.2  Shared Ownership Models

Develop shared ownership models and access to affordable sites by groups who wish to build.

The Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS), supports approved housing bodies by partially funding housing schemes. This is ideal for those who can’t afford the full cost of a house, or raise the initial deposit to get on the housing ladder with good quality housing funded partially by the householder, giving them the benefits of ownership without the cost burden that is now only within the reach of upper middle income and wealthy families.

7.3  Build 2,100 Houses in Wexford

My goal is to build 350 houses in each of the six Co. Wexford districts, a total of 2,100 houses by 2025.

7.4  Housing for Gardaí and Fire Personnel

Effective policing in any community must have police and fire personnel that live in and understand their communities. Our Gardaí, by the nature of their duties, move from their hometowns. This places an unusual burden on their housing needs. Similarly, Fire Service personnel are required to live within 1.5km of their station. I will work to create a special structure for Gardaí and Fire Service Personnel giving them priority access to local rented housing stock when they are appointed to an area as well as schemes facilitating their purchase of housing.

7.5  Housing for older people

Housing for older people should be structured so that the may fulfil their lives as part of the community with age friendly housing integrated into the housing stock. We can do this by expanding the grant scheme, allowing older people to make their homes suitable to their lifestyle as their needs change

  • i.e. a choice lifestyle friendly existing homes or downsizing to a home that meets their needs as they get older.

7.6  Fianna Fáil Policy